OVERVIEW • Purpose of the CAHSEE • Background • Contents of the CAHSEE • School Accountability • Lawsuits against the CAHSEE and 2006 disability waiver • Options for students who do not pass the CAHSEE • CAHSEE Survey distributed to faculty at South El Monte High School • Demographics of SEMHS • Survey results • Pros and Cons of the CAHSEE • Recommendations regarding the future of the CAHSEE
Background of the CAHSEE • Local proficiency standards were below high school level and did not correlate with state standards. • Legislature wanted to set higher standards for high school graduation and proposed the CAHSEE. • Primary goal was to “ensure that pupils who graduate from high school can demonstrate grade level competency in reading, writing, and mathematics. • State Superintendent of Public Instruction appointed members to the High School Exit Examination Panel. The CAHSEE was developed based upon recommendations by the panel. • 1999 CAHSEE state law enacted (California Department of Education)
Purpose of the CAHSEE • Improve public high school student achievement • Show students can demonstrate grade level competency in reading, writing, and math. • Identify students who are not demonstrating grade level competency skills. • Districts are encouraged by CAHSEE results to provide additional attention and resources to students who are not acquiring grade level skills. • Students must pass the CAHSEE and meet respective district requirements to be eligible for high school graduation. (California Department of Education 2006)
English – Language Arts State content standards through grade 10. Reading portion contains vocabulary, decoding, comprehension, and analysis of literary information in texts. Writing Portion contains writing strategies, applications and grammar, spelling, and punctuation. Mathematics State Standards grades 6, 7, and Algebra 1. Math portion includes statistics, data analysis, number sense, measurement and geometry, reasoning, and algebra. Students must also be able to demonstrate a foundation in computation and arithmetic. Contents of CAHSEE2 parts
Test VariationsStudents are allowed to take the CAHSEE with any accommodations and modifications specified in IEP or 504 Plan ACCOMMODATIONS Definition: A variation in the environment that does not alter what the exam measures. Examples: Braille, math portion read to student. • If a student uses an accommodation, a standard passing score of 350 or above is a PASS. • English learners are required to take the exam, but may utilize a flexible setting or extra time. Students may hear the test directions in their primary language.
Test Variations (Continued) MODIFICATIONS Definition: A variation in the environment that alters what the exam measures. Examples: Use of calculator on math portion, ELA portion read to student. • If a student uses a modification, and earns a standard passing score of 350, the student has not passed – but can request a waiver of the requirement. • Because a modification alters the test – the test is marked “NOT VALID.” • (California Department of Education 2004)
If at first you do not succeed, try, try again • Students take the CAHSEE for the first time in the spring of 10th grade. • A student has five more times to take the exam. • Seniors may take the exam a seventh time in the spring of 12th grade, but results will not be posted in time for graduation.
School Accountability • The CAHSEE is used for school and district accountability • The CAHSEE is used for State and Federal accountability • API • AYP
Lawsuits against the CAHSEE • Disabilities • Other Graduation Requirements Met • Appropriate Alternatives
Options for students who do not pass the CAHSEE • Remedial supplemental instruction. • Additional year(s) in high school or alternative education program. • Independent Study • Adult School, Secondary Education • Pass CA High School Proficiency Exam. Must be 16 years or over to obtain diploma equivalent. • Pass GED – 18 years or older.
Pros of CAHSEE • Standardized Test • Sets a Standard • New Test • Ensures Basic Learning Skills are Learned
Cons of CAHSEE • Multiculturally Biased • Disabilities/Time Limit • Overcrowded Classrooms • Teaching to the Test • Added Stress & Pressure
CAHSEE Survey • 10 Questions • Distributed to all faculty members at South El Monte High School in South El Monte, CA. • 80 surveys distributed • 30 replies received • 38% survey return rate
Demographics of SEMHS • 1400 Students • 93% Hispanic or Latino • 5% Asian • 2% Other • 87% Socioeconomically disadvantaged • 80% Students participate in free or reduced lunch • Parent education level using a scale of 1-5, where 1 represents not a high school graduate , and 5 represents graduate school = 1.78
CAHSEE Survey For each item below, please indicate your answer using a scale of 1-5, with the answer of 1 meaning Strongly Agree, and 5 meaning Strongly Disagree. Strongly Agree 1 2 3 4 5 Strongly Disagree 1. The CAHSEE is a valid measure of student knowledge. ______ 2. The CASHEE connects well with the classroom curriculum. ______ 3. The CASHEE connects well with the CA Standards. ______ 4. The CASHEE is accessible to all students. ______ 5. The CASHEE is culturally biased. ______ 6. The CASHEE builds self-esteem. ______ 7. The CASHEE is an appropriate measure of teacher value. ______ 8. The CASHEE forces the teacher to “teach to the test.” ______ 9. The CASHEE is an effective tool to measure the knowledge of Special Education students. ______ 10. The CASHEE should be the determinate factor for graduating students from high school. _____
Survey Results – ITEM1The CAHSEE is a valid measure of student knowledge. MEAN 3.1333 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 4.0
ITEM 2The CASHEE connects well with the classroom curriculum. MEAN 3.0 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 3.00
ITEM 3The CASHEE connects well with the CA Standards. MEAN 2.7333 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 4.0
ITEM 4The CASHEE is accessible to all students. MEAN 3.4 MEDIAN 4.0 MODE 5.0
ITEM 5The CASHEE is culturally biased. MEAN 3.3793 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 5.00
ITEM 6The CASHEE builds self-esteem. MEAN 3.5517 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 5.0
ITEM 7The CASHEE is an appropriate measure of teacher value. MEAN 3.6071 MEDIAN 4.0 MODE 5.00
ITEM 8The CASHEE forces the teacher to “teach to the test.” MEAN 2.5333 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 1.0
ITEM 9The CASHEE is an effective tool to measure the knowledge of Special Education students. MEAN 3.3667 MEDIAN 4.0 MODE 5.00
ITEM 10The CASHEE should be the determinate factor for graduating students from high school. MEAN 3.2333 MEDIAN 3.0 MODE 3.0
CONCLUSIONS • The results of the survey indicate that there are many strong opinions against the CAHSEE. • 7 out of 10 questions yielded a larger number of responses (mode) of negativity toward the CAHSEE. • When responses are averaged however, the survey results show that the opinions of the CAHSEE are indifferent, with majority averages being a 3. Respondents neither agree, nor disagree. • The average response of a 3 also shows that people do not have enough information about the CAHSEE to make an absolute decision. The test is new and therefore teachers do not have enough practical experience with the test.
FUTURE RECOMMENDATIONS • Revamp the test. • Consider options for students with disabilities and for English Learners. • Not an “end all” solution right now. • Monitor individual student progress.
REFERENCES California Department of Education www.cde.ca.gov